On Friday (December 11), a gunfight broke out between Nigerian military forces and an extremist group who kidnapped hundreds of secondary school students.
The gang kidnapped nearly half of the all-boys school’s 800 students, according to parents and an employee’s statement to the news outlet.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerian military forces found the gang and some of the missing students hiding in a forest nearby before gun fire was exchanged.
One officer was wounded during the fight which resulted in 72 of the boys being able to escape from the bandits and run to safety.
Fifteen-year-old Muhammad Abubakar was one of the boys who got away, detailing his harrowing escape to the news outlet. “The bandits called us back. They told us not to run. We started to walk back to them, but as we did, we saw more people coming towards the dormitory,” he said.
“So I and others ran again. We jumped over the fence and ran through a forest to the nearest village.” The teen reported that seven of his friends are among those still missing. He was reunited with his mother and stated, “I never thought I would see my parents again.”
Parents and relatives of the missing boys gathered at the school on Sunday (December 13) to make a public plea to get the remaining boys back to safety.
Online, the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys trended on Twitter, evoking memories of the kidnapping of more than 200 girls back in 2014 by Boko Haram in the northeastern town of Chibok.
Officials say that a motive for Friday’s attack is not known. Unfortunately, attacks like this are not new to the region. Last month, several farmers were killed by militants in Borno state.
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